Ten ASEAN countries and five other Asia-Pacific countries have signed the world`s largest trade agreement on GDP. The pact is expected to boost economic growth in a region hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. ASEAN has concluded a number of free trade agreements with other Asian countries that are radically changing the global public procurement and production landscape. It has, for example, a contract with China that has effectively reduced tariff reduction to nearly 8,000 product categories, or 90% of imported goods, to zero. These favourable conditions came into force in China and in ASEAN members, including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Southeast Asian heads of state and government met in Bangkok for a three-day, trade-dominated summit. ASEAN members are working to finalize a China-backed plan for the creation of the world`s largest free trade area. Under the RCEP, the parts of all Member States would be treated in the same way, which could encourage companies in RCEP countries to look for suppliers in the commercial region. The pact reduces tariffs, opens up the services sector and establishes common rules on trade within the bloc. The agreement covers trade, services, investment, e-commerce, telecommunications and copyright. “Ratification is likely to be difficult in national parliaments, both because of anti-commercial and anti-Chinese sentiment,” he added.
This new analysis proposes to examine two key areas, including port facilities and competitiveness in Internet services. According to the report, reforms in these areas could increase ASEAN trade by 7.5% ($22 billion) and 5.7% ($17 billion). On the other hand, a reduction in tariffs on all ASEAN members on the South-East Asia regional average would increase intra-regional trade by about 2% ($6.3 billion).  Read more: Joe Biden is hardly the free distributor on which Asia hopes that a product made in Indonesia containing Australian coins, for example, will have to expect tariffs elsewhere in the Asean Free Trade Area. Chinese President Xi opens up to other trade and import agreements The ASEAN bloc has largely eliminated all import and export taxes on goods traded between them, with the exception of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, which continue to impose nominal tariffs on certain posts.